The Art Of Changing


Every time my two college kids come home for a visit, in this case, Thanksgiving, I forget, that it takes 48 hours for all of us to get used to each other again. I wish I could remember that beforehand because it would take the sting out of the inevitable: regression,

dirty looks, initial combative behavior and sibling rivalry. What is it about coming home that automatically brings out old behavior patterns?

I remember this happening when I visited my parents when I was in college so I am not sure you really can stop it. I think you become child-like when you go home to visit your parents and old habits die-hard. To this day, it is never a good scenario when my sister and I are alone with our mom, together. I never liked being with two other friends, it’s not a good combination for me.

But, after two days of settling in with our children it’s wonderful, just like old times. It feels like they have never left and you wonder how you can let them go, again? The house will be so quiet without them. There are four of us now drinking coffee in the morning or snacking together at night, sitting on the bed together chatting and laughing, interrupting each other and rehashing the mini-dramas of Thanksgiving.

I know it won’t be like this forever, they will get married or move away or we will move so I cherish every second. I’m putting these memories in a special place in my heart, tucked away, like the memories of their childhood. The difference is that I have photographs of when they were young and sweet and innocent. I have a mountain of photographs of each stage of their lives.

But this, this one memory, lasted ten minutes, it is like a snapshot in my mind and I try desperately to hold on to to it, in my heart, hoping it will last a very long time.

The four of us all sitting together laughing and reminiscing, back and forth, happy, conversing, joking with no hint of displeasure or dismay. All of us being in tune with each other, bantering, back and forth, replaying the day, interrupting each other and finishing each others sentences.
The thought of them leaving in a couple of days just seems incredible, and lonely and sad. And yes, it will take another 48 hours for their laughter to die down, for my husband and I to get used to the solitude and the quietness and enjoy each other and the peace, all over again.
Change is inevitable, get used to it, it never goes away.
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Haiku Horizons, Home

Nestled in my lap

sleep, red-furry dog, snore, sigh

Home, together, safe.

 

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Coming home, head down

ashamed, broken, unsure, sick

Family is love.

 

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Homecoming queen sits

silver sparkles, crown, glory

starved, tortured inside.

 

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In Search Of Purpose And Key Lime Pie

I’m a foodie and a true dessert lover. Last week I salivated every night while eating huge helpings of chocolate mousse cake with a hint of raspberry jam and thick fudge frosting. My new obsession is finding key lime pie. I’m dying for key lime pie. Why is it that I have not yet found a dessert I don’t adore? I’m strongly anticipating the “Sunday only” jelly doughnut, an almost weekly tradition…

I’m not a full-fledged foodie because I’m fussy about fish: I am a salmon-hater, the strong smell, the nasty taste, I wish I liked it for health reasons but I haven’t found a recipe that can disguise the flavor so I can even take a bite. I can’t get near the fish. ( I still blame Susie K. for forcing me to eat that horrid salmon mousse and telling me it was tuna.) Tonight’s dinner consists of homemade Nona’s meatballs and homemade tomato sauce. I forgot to buy the thick, crusty, multi-grain bread to rip apart and dunk in good olive oil. I’m too tired now to run out and buy it. But a salad of fresh mozzarella and tomato with olive oil and basil will have to do.

 

Key lime pie with whipped cream.

Key lime pie with whipped cream. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m a child for my mom, a 57-year-old child, I could never understand that until my daughter turned twenty about a week ago. I am a wife, now going on 26 years and most of all I am a mom.

 

I’m a writer and blogger, I don’t care if blogging is the bottom of the barrel for some people. I love it and will keep doing it until I don’t love doing it anymore. Compiling them together? Maybe.

I was a traveler of many countries when I was young and traveled with my parents and sister on free tickets yet also a homebody who couldn’t wait to just get home.

I cried with happiness when I saw the lights of John F. Kennedy Airport twinkling at night when we were coming home to New York. Home is where I always wanted to be, home is still where I want to be. My older sister would also be crying but for her it was because she wanted to stay on vacation and not come home. Ever. Two sisters, as our parents used to say ” the sun and the moon.” I was lucky to travel with my husband on bonus points when we could, Amsterdam, one of our favorite cities in the world.

I’m both friendly and withdrawn, I need my alone time desperately. I don’t always get it and then I really feel stressed out. I need to walk outside more. Be in nature, appreciate things around me.

Nicolae Grigorescu - Peasant Woman Sitting in ...

I can be quick and funny edging on sarcastic but with no intention to harm or hurt. I’ve had more than one person say I should be a stand up comic. I’m not sure that I see that at all.

 

But, most of all, I am a mom of two incredible adult children, 20 and almost 22. A son, bright, warm brown eyes and ready to start his day early each morning. He never wanted to miss anything since he was two. We used to call him “The Farmer.” To this day, he is active every moment of each day, now on his quest to be accepted to medical school. His goal is to be an ER doctor, no Internist, he. He likes to keep moving. Strong, confident, first child syndrome.

My beautiful daughter, who used to be so shy, not anymore. I admire her, wish I had the same guts at her age. She will go far, she is unbelievably intelligent, intuitive,  sassy, beautiful and charming. She is also incredible courageous which I never was when I was her age. I am so glad that she is like that, I faked my own insecurities so that my children would not be like me. I did it for them. It has paid off in so many delicious ways. I can see her in a court room with her impeccable memory grilling someone on the stand with her quick mind.

I may not have completed a dissertation or an MBA, neither have I received any medals or awards. I have not yet published my first novel.  If I do nothing else in this world I feel accomplished and honored that I brought two amazing young people into this world. They are my life, what I am now and what I will leave behind in the future. My life will go on because of them. I don’t need anything more than that.  I love them more than anything in this world. When people ask me my profession, I answer “I’m a Mom” with pride. I think I always will.

Kellie Elmore, FWF. TRUST

Trust (Low album)

Trust (Low album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t trust anyone, anymore. Nobody. What, you expect me to? What the hell do you want from me. If you can’t trust your own parents then who can you trust?  My old shrink told me I have

Don't Trust Anyone But Us

Don’t Trust Anyone But Us (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“trust issues.” No shit, bitch. I could have told you that first.

I trusted people when I was a kid, I was happy before I knew it was all bullshit. I used to laugh a lot too. I was innocent, maybe stupid. I played with my little brother Stevie and our dog Ginger.

Turns out my whole life was fake because I was living on a whole bunch of lies. I hate liars and I hated my parents. I was caught up in their friggin drama, those lying pieces of shit, crack heads, dealers.

Strangers started coming to our house, they looked scary, but mom and dad just told us to stay upstairs and shut our doors so they could be with their “friends.”

Our parents looked funny sometimes, it’s hard to explain. They slept during the day and were awake all night. I thought parents were supposed to protect us kids but it didn’t feel that way. My brother and I would make up stories about death,  knives with bloody edges, the sound of gunshots exploding, holes in people’s heads, murders and mysteries. I don’t really know why.

Finally, their friend Bobby told me all about the drug scam and why we had the money we did. He trusted ME and told me things, he became my friend, not theirs.  He used to play with my hair and call me pretty.

I was fifteen when I ran away with him because he said I was special. I wanted to bring Stevie but he said “No way” so I left home with him, promised Steve I’d come back for him and left in the middle of the night.

A year or so later I heard that our “parents”were busted and were in prison for grand theft, possession of drugs and drug running and I didn’t blink one eye, much less two. Let those bastards rot in hell is what I thought.

But, I cried for Stevie and the dog, all alone somewhere.
I stayed with Bobby for about a year but I knew Bobby was no good either. One night when Bobby was out of I escaped. I didn’t even care about Bobby and I just wanted to go home. I needed to go home. I knew my parents were in lock up because I sure didn’t want to see them. Not once.

When I got home I went to the court-house, trying to find my brother but they had no records. I was eighteen working at a local restaurant as a waitress, every night and taking a business class during the day.

After working there for almost a year,  I had adopted a new dog  called her Ginger 2 and was renting a room over the restaurant. I didn’t believe in happy or unhappy anymore, I didn’t bother anybody and they didn’t bother me.

I was working one night around 7:30  when a customer walked in. He took a seat at a booth and I was too tired to tell him booths were for two people or more. I went over to him to him to take his order his head buried in the menu.

Finally, looking  up at me were the same blue eyes and long eyelashes that I knew so well. We stared at each other for a few seconds in total silence. Then, we both burst into tears and hugged. We called each others name not letting go and sobbing. It was my baby brother all grown up.

Sure, I made a lot of mistakes in my life but the one, good thing I did was to keep my promise. Me and Stevie were together again, he trusted me, he knew that I would find him and I did.

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When Old Friends Become New

"Golden girl" – Horses (unknown bree...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve known my friend Meryl for as long as I can remember. We lived in the same neighborhood, attended the same schools starting with elementary school; we had what is now known as “playdates.” We had mutual friends but we grew apart over time, there was never any fighting, we just drifted apart.   That was over 30 years ago; just recently we reconnected.

Meryl, is my history and I am hers. How wonderful for her to remember that my dad, now deceased, had a telescope and would let us look through it; how heart-warming to hear her say ” your dad was so kind.” We talked about horseback riding (which terrifies me) and I suddenly flashed back to a strong image of pictures that she drew. I hadn’t remembered it or thought of it in at least thirty  years. The memory came back to me like a flash:”You drew horses, didn’t you?”  She smiled widely “Yes I did.”

I  remembered a cold winter day, in third grade, wearing a gray parka and walking from my apartment building to her beautiful white house. Her house definitely had better snacks than my house did, and that is something that you don’t forget! Her room was huge and I remember sitting on her bed and us talking.

Now, my husband and I are now very good friends with Meryl and her husband, Paul. It’s very hard sometimes to make new friends, especially close friends that like each other equally. We’ve all had friends where one or two people don’t get along; it’s very awkward. We feel so lucky, so blessed to have another couple where each one likes the other equally, not to mention that we all like to eat good food….together.

There’s a comfort level with an old friend, history, school pictures, adventures we had together. There is history with having a sibling (and we each have a sister) but there is no fighting, resentment, emotional baggage that comes along with it.  Meryl has become my sister without being a sibling. It is both incredibly comforting  and exciting to have a new, old friend: someone to confide in, someone who supports you, someone who really knows the adult and the child within.

*Dedicated to Meryl and Paul